The SA Women’s Hockey team will be representing the rainbow nation at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia between 4-‐15 April.
The reigning African champions will be hoping to improve on the fourth placed finish they achieved at the Glasgow 2014 Games. The Games also gives the team an opportunity to improve their position in the world rankings and will serve as crucial preparation for the FIH World Cup which will be held in London later this year.
The team will feature a mix on youth and experience with stalwarts like captain Nicolene Terblanche, Celia Evans, Shelley Jones and Dirkie Chamberlain joined by youngsters Ongi Mali and Kristen Paton. Bernadette Coston is unable to travel to the games and has been replaced by Kara Botes.
The full team for the Commonwealth Games is:
Phumelela Mbande - Goalkeeper
Nicole le Fleur - Goalkeeper
Nicolene Terblanche - Co-captain
Sulette Damons - Co-captain
Speaking before the games Head Coach Sheldon Rostron said, “We are confident in the team that we have selected, with a well-balanced squad having both speed and the power to achieve at the Commonwealth Games. Our hope is that we achieve a top-four position to compete for a medal in the final playoffs.”
“We have invested a lot of resources ensuring that each athlete is well managed and ready for this eventful year. The Commonwealth Games is an important part of growing our success and the performance at this event is key to our performance objectives and goals we have set for 2018," he added.
In an interview with The Games, 266 international cap veteran, Shelley Jones, shared her expectations for the Games, “We are definitely looking for a medal. It is something that has just eluded us the last couple of Commonwealth Games where it was so close we could taste it. It is a goal we are absolutely aiming for, so the whole team is on board to try and make that happen.”
The South African Women begin their campaign with a tough start against the English on the 5 April, before taking on Malaysia, Wales and India looking to secure a top 2 spot in group A to qualify for the medal play-offs.
Private Property wishes the team the best for the Games. Make us proud!